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Prof. Mehdi Tafti

PI of the laboratory: Mehdi Tafti
Tél: 021 692 3971

Direct supervisor (assistant): Anne Vassalli, Valérie Hinard

Department: Center for Integrative Genomics
Address: Genopode Building, Dorigny Campus


Molecular Genetics of Sleep in Mice

7th semester
Brief description of the project
Initiation to mouse transgenic techniques including cloning, construct design, transgenic generation and transgene genotyping. Laboratory work includes, PCR, Sequencing, Southern, Northern, Western, Clining, plasmid prep.

8th + 9th semesters
Brief description of the project

The aim of this project is show that sleep may be investigated in vitro. We have shown that extended wakefulness activates genes in the brain involved in cellular defense and recovery. One of these genes is Homer1a, an activity-induced gene involved in intracellular calcium homeostasis. By using neuronal cultures and brain slices, we aim at showing that neuronal activity in these models activates the same genes as wakefulness in the whole brain. We will also used transfections to over-express or down-regulate key genes to evaluate their consequences on cell functions.
Laboratory work involves, cell culture, electrophysiology, quantitative RT-PCR and expression profiling by microarry, shRNA design and use and transfection.

- Tafti M, Petit B, Chollet D, Neidhart E, de Bilbao F, Kiss JZ, Wood PA, and Franken P. Deficiency in short-chain fatty acid b-oxidation affects theta oscillations during sleep. Nat. Genet., 2003, 34: 320-325.
- Maret S, Franken P, Dauvilliers Y, Ghyselinck NB, Chambon P, Tafti M. Retinoic acid signaling
affects cortical synchrony during sleep. Science. 2005, 310:111-113.
- Maret S, Dorsaz S, Gurcel L, Pradervand S, Petit B, Pfister C, Hagenbuchle O, O'Hara BF, Franken P, Tafti M. Homer1a is a core brain molecular correlate of sleep loss. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007, 104:20090-20095.

Link to the group web site

Rue du Bugnon 9 - CH-1005 Lausanne  - Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 51 00  -  Fax +41 21 692 51 05
Swiss University